A strategic alliance struck between two global consulting firms -- one in the IT services business, the other in equipment leasing and finance -- is expected to bring a new package of solutions to the market as the interest in software and infrastructure upgrades ramps up.
Reno, Nev.-based The Alta Group works with a mix of clients that range from commercial equipment leasing and finance companies and governmental agencies to those owned by the supplier or manufacturer, known as captive finance companies, such as Dell Financial Services or Hewlett-Packard Financial Services.
The new relationship struck with Paris-based Capgemini, an IT consultant and services company, will mean expanded services for the two companies' client bases, Alta CEO John Deane told CRN, by marrying Capgemini's strengths in IT and application consulting with Alta's subject-matter expertise in the equipment leasing and finance business.
Alta had been looking at the IT implementation and consulting space for the past couple of years and dipped its toe in those waters late last year.
"What we found was there was huge interest and that our subject-matter expertise was very well received and demanded, but that we did not have the bandwidth or the personnel capacity to handle the requests or needs of clients," Deane said.
One of Alta's clients for more than a decade, which Deane described as a major software provider to the equipment and leasing industry, recently approached Alta for help on a new project.
The company had a new version of software set to be rolled out and it was the first major upgrade in a long time for its base of roughly 200 clients. The job required teams of roughly 15 to 20 software or tech-savvy people per installation.
"We're not set up with that kind of capacity," Deane said. "We could have gone into the market and found independent contractors, but it didn't make sense. It made more sense to work with someone who already had the capacity."
The two already have been working on a few collaborative efforts, mostly in the U.S., according to Capgemini Vice President and Global Practice Head for Banking and Diversified Financial Services Michael Leyva. However, the two are now "aggressively expanding the alliance to be active in the global equipment leasing and lending markets," Leyva said in a statement.
Although an uptick in the need for software installations and infrastructure upgrades drove the alliance between Alta and Capgemini, there's a larger shift taking place in the marketplace, Deane said, that will have lasting ramifications on the leasing and finance industries in the years to come.
Equipment financing several decades ago was once a very simple process, much like financing a car or TV. The proliferation of integrated services has changed that, Deane said.
"Today there is an ever-increasing demand for what we like to call 'integrated solutions,' where it's not just the equipment being financed. It's the equipment, the maintenance, the use," Deane said.
And there's the rub.
The wrapping of other services beyond just the physical product has placed more sophisticated demands on the equipment leasing and financing companies Alta counts as clients along with the requirements for IT and application consulting, which is Capgemini's expertise -- another reason the new alliance makes sense.
"The cloud may be the best example there is of integrated solutions in the technology space," Deane said. "What an integrated solution does is it essentially makes what equipment finance and leasing do look more like a service than just a sterile finance."
PUBLISHED AUG. 26, 2014